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January 07, 2021

Looking Ahead – The Herpetarium 

As we start the new year, we are checking in with our animal care teams to see what they are looking forward to in 2021.

The Herpetology Department is excited about several big initiatives. First, the renovation of an off-exhibit space to allow for the conservation breeding of two species of critically endangered Asian box turtles. Second, we are thrilled continue our work with several species of Ecuadorian amphibians, Western Asian vipers, and Eastern and Ozark hellbenders as part of our Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute collaborations. Specifically, we will be aiming to reproduce several of these species and upgrade facilities, including some improvements to our Western Asian viper room  and one of our three main hellbender propagation rooms. These much-needed upgrades will allow for more efficient use of space and updated systems. Lastly, we will be acquiring two female Jamaican iguanas in 2021 to pair up with our males as part of the Jamaican Iguana Species Survival Plan (SSP). As long-time supporters of this SSP, we are looking forward to increasing our involvement and support. – Lauren Augustine, Curator of Herpetology 

Photos: Justin Elden

Asian box turtle (Bourret's box turtle, Cuora bourreti)

Ecuadorian frog (Rio Pescado stubfoot toad, Atelopus balios)

Armenian Viper- (Montivipera raddei)